In this article "'It's just too much': Why students are abandoning community colleges" by Arizona PBS, important work is discussed regarding the hurdles students and two-year schools face within the prolonged difficulties that COVID-19 has imposed.
"Many factors are behind the plummeting enrollment at two-year schools. The prospect of in-class learning raises the specter of Covid-19 infection. Remote instruction has worn out its welcome for many. And community colleges tend to attract those whose precarious finances have been hurt most by the pandemic, and who needed greater guidance from administrators and faculty at the very moment that those officials were stepping back from in-person recruitment and services. If those trends continue, they could exacerbate existing racial and socioeconomic gaps in higher education, as four-year schools, which tend to serve wealthier and whiter populations, bounce back more quickly while the pandemic hollows out community colleges that have been slowly leaking students for a decade. Fewer students equal less revenue for community colleges, which could lead to cuts at the very institutions so many depend upon as a first step toward economic mobility. How bad that cycle gets depends in part on how many low-income students and students of color can emerge from the pandemic still on a path to higher education."
Image courtesy of Arizona PBS.